The 8 Most Stolen Vehicles in Australia
Posted by: Dan on 6/07/2016
The 8 Most Stolen Vehicles
There are cars that are very popular on the general market – and others that are very popular on the black market. You most definitely don’t want your vehicle to be popular in the latter category – but, just like speed cameras and auto scams, vehicle theft is an unfortunate reality of motoring.
There is no shortage of available information on how to prevent car theft, but that’s just a part of being informed about auto theft; knowing to what extent your car could be a target is another crucial element in your wider driving awareness.
Here are 8 of the most-stolen vehicles on the road.
1. Toyota HiLux
A staple at construction sites and in numerous other industries that require employees to be out and about in the field, the Toyota HiLux is also an attractive prospect to car thieves, topping the list of Australia’s most-stolen cars. Reasons for this vary, but given that it’s one of the top-selling utility vehicles in Australia, supply and (illegal) demand loom large here. Four out of every 10 stolen HiLux vehicles disappear, being either broken down for parts or shipped overseas.
2. Holden Commodore
Many Australians are getting ready to join the queue in 2017 to buy one of the last Australian-made Holdens. Many car thieves have been busy themselves “acquiring” a momento vehicle of their own. One of the reasons Holdens are among the most frequently-stolen vehicles in Australia is because of their sheer popularity. One thing is for certain – no Australian wants to join the “Stolen Holdens Club.”
3. Ford Falcon
Holden and Ford enjoy a long and storied rivalry in Australian motor racing and culture – and also in terms of car theft. Similar to the story of the Commodore, the availability of the Falcon has made it an attractive target for thieves. Alongside their easy access, their widespread popularity means they are a great inconspicuous vehicle for use in other crimes. If only the great city of Detroit, home of Ford, would let us borrow RoboCop for a couple of months.
4. Hyundai Excel
The Hyundai Excel is an attractive, economical, and urbane little car that happily ferries many owners from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, many thieves have also found the car attractive.
Among the most widely-stolen cars in Australia, the Hyundai Excel’s appeal on the black market is a warning to all that it’s not just utility vehicles and big sedans that are popular to thieves, but all types of makes and models across the market.
Ferraris are some of the most prestigious vehicles in the world, so it’s no surprise that they’re popular among car thieves. They may not be as commonplace on city streets as other cars on this list, yet as numerous cases from Australia and around the world have shown, their desirability remains extremely high.
Audis have been subject to some frequent thefts in recent times. As detailed in The Age, in just one night in 2014, “11 Audis were stolen in [Melbourne] suburbs including Middle Park, Carlton and Heidelberg.” In total, the number of Audis stolen in Victoria increased by over 300% between 2013 and 2014 – in 2013, 90 Audis were stolen, and in 2014, that number increased to 348.
More recent Audi models in particular have proven popular for thieves, given a design defect in its valet key. Intended as a way to make it easier to have a valet or mechanic move your car but be unable to access the boot and glove box, criminals found a way to abuse the valet key system to gain unauthorised entry to the vehicles. Audi has since provided a solution, so any Audi owners with concerns should contact their dealer.
Over the past five years, there has been an increase in the thefts of luxury cars that use ‘keyless’ entry and ignition systems. This is likely due to organised criminals using electronic engineers to take apart and analyse those systems in order to find the easiest ways to bypass them.
Another make in big demand on the black market is Mercedes. This applies both in Australia and around the world, with the Mercedes C Class in particular looming as an attractive target. While recent Mercedes may not have had design issues like Audi did, the higher price of a Silver Arrow is very alluring to professional thieves with great skills.
8. Nissan Patrol
Japanese car maker Nissan enjoys ample popularity in Australia, and notably occupies an iconic place in our motoring history as one of the few manufacturers (alongside Jaguar, BMW, and Volvo) to have won at the Bathurst 1000.
Off the track, Nissan has also proven popular, albeit for the wrong reasons. The Patrol is among the most-stolen vehicles in Australia, with 13 being stolen from one shire in Queensland alone during a 4-month period in 2014.
With 70% of cars now stolen from people’s homes, it’s clear that the old stereotypes of car theft hotspots being confined to nighttime city streets or remote car parks is no longer true.
By ensuring your car’s locks work, that you have a working car alarm, and that your keys are always kept out of sight (not hanging out of your pocket or in an open purse), you’ll go a long way toward putting good security in place to prevent vehicle theft from happening to you.
Finally, be sure your vehicle always looks clean and polished. It may sound counterintuitive, but an attractive car that looks like it could be sold today signifies to thieves that the owner has likely also installed quality security measures in it. If you have a bunch of university textbooks or food wrappers cluttering the back seat, though, they may be inclined to test their luck with the car’s security system.
Have you ever had your car stolen? What measures do you use to keep your car safe?
Let us know in the comments below: